FIX: Windows 10 Command Prompt autocomplete doesn’t work

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
Tashreef Shareef is a software developer turned tech writer. He discovered his interest in technology after reading a tech magazine accidentally. Now he writes about everything tech from Windows to iOS and streaming services... Read more
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The Command Prompt has a handy little autocomplete feature that allows the users to change directory paths using the Tab key. However, several users have reported Windows 10 command prompt autocomplete not working issue.

One user explained the issue in the Microsoft community forum.

When I used to press Tab button in command prompt, the names of available files in that directory pops up.
But I updated win10 with KB4458469 last night and this function is not working.

This issue can occur if the completion function is disabled in the registry. This can happen after installing new Windows updates which may have disabled the feature.

In this article, we show how to fix Windows 10 command prompt autocomplete not working problem.


How do I fix Windows 10 command prompt tab autocomplete not working?

1. Enable autocomplete through Registry Editor

Windows 10 command prompt autocomplete not working

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run.
  2. Type regedit and click OK.
    1. This will open Registry Editor.
    2. Click Yes when the UAC prompt appears.
  3. On the Registry Editor, navigate to the following location:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor
  4. You can also try to access this path:
    • Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Command Processor
  5. Depending on the Windows release, you will find the Command Processor in one of the above directories.
  6. From the right-pane, double-click on CompletionChar value.
  7. In the Data value field, enter 9 and click OK.
  8. Next, double-click on PathCompletionChar and set the data value to 9 as well.
  9. Exit the Registry Editor.
  10. Restart the Command Prompt to apply the changes.
  11. Check if the autocomplete not working issue is now resolved.

1.1. Change the autocomplete key

Windows 10 command prompt autocomplete not working

  1. Navigate to the following path in the Registry Editor:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor
  2. You can also try to access this path:
    • Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Command Processor
  3. Double-click on the PathCompletionChar key.
  4. In the Data value field, enter the following digits to replace the default Tab key.
    • Enter 4 for Ctrl + D
    • Enter 6 for Ctrl + F
  5. Click OK to save the changes.
  6. Close the Registry Editor and restart the Command Prompt to apply the changes.

Having trouble accessing the Registry Editor? Check out this in-depth guide for a quick solution


2. Enable tab autocomplete using Command Prompt

Windows 10 command prompt autocomplete not working

  1. Press the Windows key.
  2. Type cmd.
  3. Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.
  4. In the Command Prompt, enter the following command and hit the enter key:
    • reg add “hkcusoftwaremicrosoftcommand processor” /v CompletionChar /d 9 /t REG_DWORD /f
    • reg add “hkcusoftwaremicrosoftcommand processor” /v PathCompletionChar /d 9 /t REG_DWORD /f
  5. The above command will add the required registry values to the registry.
  6. Close and reopen the Command Prompt and check for any improvements.

Having to type the complete folder path manually is a time-consuming task, which becomes annoying if the pathname has long numbers in it. This is where the autocomplete feature comes in handy.

However, the Windows 10 Command Prompt autocomplete not working issue can occur after installing a new Windows update. By following the steps in this article, you can enable the Command Prompt autocomplete feature again.

If you know of any other method to fix this Command Prompt issue, share it with the other users by leaving it as a message in the comments section below.


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